On days when rain threatens your plans to exercise outside, consider heading outdoors anyway. Exercising in the rain can be both fun and refreshing. Whether you're going for a scenic walk or practicing kicking goals, you can fit a great, revitalizing workout into your day if you're careful to stay safe and dry.
Apply a sports lubricant or petroleum jelly to prevent areas on your body that have a tendency to chafe, like under your arms or between your thighs. The lubricant will repel water that might otherwise worsen chaffing in those areas.
Wear clothing that will repel water. The best are those made from polypropylene fabrics. This includes sports bras and socks, which are especially important to keep try since they're the closest to your body.
Choose a light jacket or vest that is both wind- and water-resistant. Wear one that is also reflective; it's a big bonus for safety, as drivers and other people may have limited vision in the rain.
Top off your outfit with a waterproof hat with a visor. It will keep your head and hair from becoming sopping wet and cold, and the visor and will limit the amount of rain that falls in your face.
Wear a pair of running shoes that will provide good traction on a slick road or slippery surface. While you won't need these if swimming, during nearly all other exercises, you'll want shoes that can not only get wet and potentially muddy, but provide the traction you need to keep from slipping.
Keep your electronic devices, such as an MP3 player or cell phone, wrapped in a plastic bag to protect it from the rain. The wrapped devices can be stored in a jacket pocket that can be zipped or buttoned.
Stretch very well before your workout, and drink plenty of water. Just because you're exercising in the rain doesn't mean you can't pull a hamstring or become dehydrated.
Choose a workout location that is well-lit, as protected from the elements as possible and has little or no car traffic. Public parks are a good choice, as are tracks and fields outside of schools and gyms. They key here is safety.
Dry off and warm up after your workout is complete. Change out of soaked clothes, dry off with a towel and slip into some dry, warm clothing.
- Keep an eye out for puddles and slick areas.
- Doing your workout on a tennis court is not advised, as the hard court surface becomes extremely slippery for tennis players.
- Avoid exercising outside if the rain is accompanied by lighting or thunder.
Jennifer Kimrey earned her bachelor's degree in English writing and rhetoric from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. She's a regular contributor to the "Houston Chronicle" and her work has appeared on Opposing Views Cultures, The Austin American-Statesman, The Red Vault, The Western Vault and various other websites and publications.